How Police Investigate Car Accidents

Police in North Carolina and Virginia have specific procedures they follow when the call comes in that there’s been an automobile or vehicle accident. Some of the procedures common to most accidents are these:

The first goal is ensuring the safety of all those in the accident and those who may be driving near the accident.

  • The first priority is to see if anyone is hurt. If someone is hurt, then the police officer will call for an ambulance. While checking for physical pain, the officers will also check for signs of driver impairment such as alcohol impairment.
  • The first responder will secure the scene by placing traffic cones, flares, and markers around the accident. This way traffic will be diverted away from the accident so no one else is injured.

The second goal is to try to determine what happened. The officer(s) will compile a written report at the scene of the accident.

  • Officers will record details about the roads involved, the cars involved, and the people involved. They’ll also record information such as traffic lights and stop signs. Tire marks and vehicle parts will be studied.
  • The officer will get the state information for each driver by examining their driver’s licenses and insurance papers.
  • Officers will also speak to any witnesses to get an oral statement of what happened.

In some cases, officers may send evidence to a medical or scientific laboratory for further review.

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